‘We are no longer going to put up with the heinous acts of crime’: Stefanson

Premier Heather Stefanson is saying enough is enough when it comes to crime in Manitoba.

With that, Stefanson announced Thursday that her government is investing over $3 million to create an integrated violent offender apprehension unit, and also improve bail and probation supervision for serious, violent offenders.

“We are no longer going to put up with the heinous acts of crime committed by the most violent criminals in our society,” said Stefanson at a news conference Thursday.

The new apprehension unit will strengthen the coordination between the Winnipeg Police Service, Manitoba RCMP and other police agencies to track and monitor high-risk and violent offenders.

It will also have dedicated officers and programs in place to intervene when needed.

“Starting immediately, police services in Manitoba will be getting the support they need, they have long deserved.”

The premier said the unit will locate offenders who are responsible for violent crime in Winnipeg and communities throughout the province and they will have the tools and resources available to take offenders into custody.

The other part of the announcement was focused on bail and probation supervision, with the premier saying new initiatives will lead to intensive supervision for specific offenders so they can comply with their bail conditions as well as improve probation programs that focus on criminals who are deemed high-risk.

Stefanson said the programs will help provide more resources to more offenders, which in turn will help decrease the likelihood of people reoffending.

Mayor Scott Gillingham said crime was the number one topic being discussed in Winnipeg on the campaign trail over the last six months.

“By bringing together law enforcement, government departments and social service agencies, we can do so much more,” said Gillingham.

Insp. Shawn Pike, with the Winnipeg Police Service, said the hope is this new unit will have an immediate impact on crime in the city and province.

“As we continue to proceed with the implementation process on an operational level, we expect this new unit to be fully operational in early 2023,” said Pike.

He added the unit to start would include six officers from Winnipeg police and six officers from the RCMP.

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